Sound Off to the Editor

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To the editor,

If one wonders why the foot traffic at Kings Plaza Shopping Center is growing less and less each year, one only has to remember what happened with the recent mini-riot by unsupervised teenagers (“Brawl at the mall,” online Dec. 30, 2013).

Shops and stores are catering to the younger crowd, blaring hip-hop and rap-crap music at ear-splitting levels. There used to be a variety of stores families could shop in, but now, unless you are into “bling” jewelry or clothes of a certain genre, you are out of luck.

My family and many others in our Marine Park-Mill Basin neighborhood have fled to points outside the city for a cleaner and safer shopping experience. The greatly expanded Gateway mall opening on the Belt Parkway should help put a stake in the heart of the once-proud Kings Plaza.

Maybe the owners and managers of Kings Plaza will have learned from this experience, and will change their business practices to opening stores that people can actually enjoy shopping in, confining blaring music to inside stores, and enforcing security rules that are on the books but not really followed.

Until then, I’ll head to Long Island or pay the exorbitant bridge tolls to get to the Jersey malls.Robert Lobenstein

Marine Park

Frozen out

To the editor,

Crawford Avenue off E. Seventh Street was forgotten in this snow storm — if anyone cares. And so was every single street that runs between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Parkway in Gravesend.

We did not get any salt or sand. There were one or two subcontracted plows that ran up the block on the morning of the storm, but their blades were about six inches above the surface of the road, as if they were trying to create a layer of ice that would lay there untouched for days.

I guess politics and snowstorms make for bed mates. I thought Mayor DeBlasio was all about all five boroughs. How was his street? Pretty well plowed I’m guessing.Rob Hagen


Shav & Christianity

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo (“A Britisher’s View”), consider the following regarding your column “Christianity Rocks” (Dec. 20, 2013):

Catholic priests sexually abusing children — a scandal that has been going on for many years.

For 100 years, the U.S. also had the boarding school system. Its goal was to deprive Native American children of everything that made them Indians. Many of these schools were run by religious orders. If a child was found speaking his or her native language, that child was beaten.

There also was sexual abuse going on. Children were taken far from home to these schools. President Carter ended this abusive system. An act was passed by Congress to allow Indians to practice their own beliefs, no longer forcing them to be Christians.

Saint Augustine said people should be punished, if they didn’t convert. Martin Luther said, “Kill the Jews.” Forty thousand Jews returning to their homes after the Holocaust were murdered by Christians, who had moved into their houses in Poland.

Christianity has done bad as well as good.Jerome Frank

Coney Island

Crime cop-out

To the editor

Restore our police blotters (“Public information cop shines light on blotter blackout as it turns one month old,” Jan. 1).

To expel it would leave many law-abiding residents and businesses of all sorts in complete darkness. In fact more information should be published on the criminals in our midst.Amy Kaye

Sheepshead Bay

Coney’s castoffs

To the editor,

The community garden that was taken apart like some useless blot on society in Coney Island was a place where people of different cultures were able to work together to grow fruit and vegetables (“Coney garden plowed under,” Jan. 3).

Our new mayor talks about two cultures, but this garden broke that mold to show how many people could work together for a common cause.

Coney Island has many seasonal events, including the January plunge of the polar bear club that attracts many swimmers and visitors, but how do they help the residents of Coney Island? Many of them still haven’t recovered after Hurricane Sandy, but not one thing is not mentioned about how to improve their living and working conditions. Many of them are still second-class citizens at the bottom of the totem pole, and that is unacceptable.

What politician speaks for these residents? All I hear is silence, and I find this an offense. To my dismay, this is not the first time a community garden has gone to a developer. This just makes me sad. I often wonder how people can look in the mirror and feel nothing at all. No heart, no soul.Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach


To the editor,

As an educator and community activist, I look at the big picture and weigh options that are still available to the Coney Island gardeners (“Coney garden plowed under,” Jan. 3).

First, we already knew that the transformation of the former Childs Restaurant into an amphitheater received the approval from the City Planning Commission. Agree or disagree, we now need to find a new home for the gardeners.

I investigated two options that might be available: The Jewish Community Council of Coney Island has undeveloped land on the Boardwalk near W. 37th Street. Later, I was told that there is a plan for the Ocean Dreams development-housing, with a supermarket on Surf Avenue and a restaurant on the Boardwalk. This would be a perfect location for the gardeners to plant fruits and vegetables.

There is a direct tie-in to having a community garden adjacent to a supermarket and restaurant. The big picture is having the gardens make money by selling their fruits and vegetables to the supermarket and restaurant owners. In addition, this produce can be used for local Meals on Wheels programs. Finally, we can engage our local students in the education of planting.

The second option is to have the new community garden located at Asser Levy Park. This location is available, and there is plenty of space to harvest, and also sell the fruits and vegetables on weekends. Sure, you can buy vegetables at the supermarket, but what’s the fun in that?

People all over the world have been gardening for centuries, and for many it is more than just a hobby. Gardening can be about community, health, ecology, entrepreneurialism, and beautification.Scott Krivitsky

Coney Island

Welcome Carmen

To the editor,

The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators is delighted with Mayor DeBlasio’s decision to appoint Carmen Farina as schools chancellor.

Carmen is universally recognized as one of the great educators in this city. Without a doubt, she is an educator’s educator, something that we have not had for 15 years.

Carmen understands the need to restore the respect educators deserve. Her plan to reduce reliance on high-stakes testing at the expense of innovative instruction is a welcome change. Carmen’s commitment to working with parents and all community stakeholders will restore a sense of optimism and trust in our schools.

We look forward to working with her and helping her as she guides our schools forward.Ernest Logan

The writer is president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators.

Medical mistreatment

To the editor.

I wrote that many people die each year because they do see a doctor, not because they don’t (“Obama-No-Care,” Sound Off to the Editor,” Dec. 27. 2013).

This is the third leading cause of death in the nation and has a name — iatrogenic disease. There are lots of articles on this subject, and there is also a video on the subject called “Death by Medicare.”

The Journal of American Medical Association lists 225,000 deaths due to people seeking medical attention, although some medical researchers claim this figure is too low.

People also suffer from malnutrition due to hospital food. Clearly we have a real problem. David Raisman

Bay Ridge


To the editor,

At least new Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will not need a waiver, as the previous several chancellors have needed.

With her experience, she doesn’t need on-the-job training, regarding the intricacies of the city’s public school system. Nonetheless, she must concentrate on lowering class sizes, removing disruptive children from classrooms and placing them in alternative 600 schools, removing Leadership Academy Principals who never taught but are now rating teachers, and returning Absent Teacher Reserve teachers to the classroom teaching and not doing substitute work.

She must also focus her attention on vocational education, and drop her idea of being against homogeneous class grouping. Slower students can’t keep up with brighter pupils, and the latter shouldn’t be held back by the teacher having to stop the lesson to explain things over and over to slower learners.

Glad to see that Farina believes in content education, and the importance of returning social studies, science, and the arts to the classroom.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay


To the editor,

All the best to new Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina. I think she was a good pick and well qualified.

I hate to be a pessimist, but I don’t think anyone can fix this school system until the parents of the students change. Parents must realize that their responsibility starts before their child goes to school, and again when they get back home.

Parents must send their child off to school with a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast. They must teach their children to respect their teachers, be quiet in the classroom, pay attention, and do their homework. After school, children must have someone there to ask how their day went, and to make sure they do their homework.

Parents — yes parents in the plural — should answer calls from the teacher and attend open school meetings. Stop blaming the teachers, the principal, the aides, the paras, the system, the school, and the price of potatoes in Hawaii.

If you can’t take care of your child and be there for him or her, and if you don’t stand by and support the teachers, then don’t complain when your child fails. Take a good look in the mirror, that’s who is to blame.Maureen Parker

Sheepshead Bay

Mayor DeBlasé

To the editor,

I am totally puzzled. I want to the city to look up tax figures on Mayor DeBlasio’s home at 384 11th Street. It appears to be owned by three people — Chirlane and Bill DeBlasio, and Bill’s mother, Maria Wilhelm, who died a few years ago.

Isn’t one supposed to change the names on ownership after a death? Name withheld upon request

August teaser

To the editor,

It is true that Aug. 2014 will have five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays (“Magical 2014,” Sound Off to the Editor, Dec. 20, 2013). But to say this happens once every 823 years is untrue.

This cycle happens every August when the first of the month falls on a Friday. It happened in Aug. 2008, 2005, 1997, 1986, 1980, 1975, and 1969. I figured all of this out in my head.Eugene Fellner

Bergen Beach

Shmuck Schumer

To the editor,

Senator Charles Schumer’s call for increased penalties for telemarketers who continue annoying us with spammer and scammer messages, even if we are on a no-call list, is just the start.

Can we add all the annoying robo calls from Schumer, endorsing his favorite primary and general election candidates, along with his own re-election calls?

Never shy around a microphone or camera, we already hear enough from Schumer every day.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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